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App that can save your life
Old 08-17-2019, 11:11 AM   #1
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App that can save your life

Interesting app that can potentially save your life if you are lost or need emergency assistance.

What3words essentially points to a very specific location. Its developers divided the world into 57 trillion squares, each measuring 3m by 3m (10ft by 10ft) and each having a unique, randomly assigned three-word address.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-...ign=pockethits

(Perhaps it can also help delivery services find remote addresses. )

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Old 08-17-2019, 11:31 AM   #2
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Why wouldn't people just copy their location and send that? Seems way easier than downloading some unknown app.

On the iPhone you can send your location directly from inside Messages or copy your lat/long from the compass app or share it using FriendMy Friends or any number of other ways. I'm sure it's as easy to do on Android as well.
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:15 PM   #3
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Would any emergency service in the US know this? All the examples are in the UK.
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:49 PM   #4
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There is a universal "app" for that: latitude and longitude
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Spock View Post
There is a universal "app" for that: latitude and longitude
Ha! Not to mention that very often when people get lost or stuck in the wilderness there's no cell coverage where they are (which may be why they got lost in the first place, if they don't know how to read maps, which seems to be a dying out skill).

Here in OR a 77 year old guy nearly died when his Jeep got stuck in a rut way out in the boonies. There was no cell service. Lucky for him a touring cyclist discovered him and used a satellite emergency beacon thing to get help. Seems that's the best emergency 'app' to have if you're really concerned about such matters.
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Old 08-17-2019, 02:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
... each having a unique, randomly assigned three-word address.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-...ign=pockethits


omni
WTF?

Assuming that this takes off, this company will now own the geolocation database and will presumably try and monetize it? I do not see this taking off anytime.

Lesson that seems to be forgotten, when UK privatized Royal Mail part and parcel, they also sold the postcodes database - the database cannot be reproduced without the approval (and presumably compensation) from the company owning the Royal Mail. The British government is now spending 5M GBP trying to reproduce the same registry.
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:30 PM   #7
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Ha! Not to mention that very often when people get lost or stuck in the wilderness there's no cell coverage where they are (which may be why they got lost in the first place, if they don't know how to read maps, which seems to be a dying out skill).



Here in OR a 77 year old guy nearly died when his Jeep got stuck in a rut way out in the boonies. There was no cell service. Lucky for him a touring cyclist discovered him and used a satellite emergency beacon thing to get help. Seems that's the best emergency 'app' to have if you're really concerned about such matters.


Perhaps. But like my grand pappy used to say “Never let the perfect become the enemy of the good.” This app sounds like it might do some good.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:20 PM   #8
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I'm not sure I'd use this to save any lives, but it might come in handy at times.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Spock View Post
There is a universal "app" for that: latitude and longitude
Try communicating your longitude and latitude over a voice call. Nope, that won't work very well. But if I said "What Three Words location: Fear Movie Lions. I'm wearing a blue shirt.". That would be sufficient to find me, even in a crowded room.


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Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
Why wouldn't people just copy their location and send that?
I'm not sure what you mean by "copy location". If the other party knew generally where you were, you could do a screen shot of your map with the blue dot on it.


It's a little gimmicky, I'll admit, but if you want to tweet where you'll be meeting before the concert starts, "gripped deals profited" can be jotted down or even remembered. That, as opposed to "35.327410, -80.711821"...yeah, let's see you jot that down after a few beers or remember it, hehe!
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:07 PM   #9
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Ha! Not to mention that very often when people get lost or stuck in the wilderness there's no cell coverage where they are (which may be why they got lost in the first place, if they don't know how to read maps, which seems to be a dying out skill). .
It's interesting, but I'm in the same camp as you and some others. If you have cell phone service, there should be some easy way to communicate your GPS location, which is universal.

Maybe Android and iOS should set up a simple icon for texting GPS info? That would seem way more universal. In some ways, words might be easier to communicate to someone than a string of numbers, but if you text it, what difference does it make? If you call 911, don't they get your GPS?

And unless I'm missing it, there is no way to get this location info on a desktop (you can go from the words to a location though), so I can't easily learn my current location unless I download an app. Not gonna do that.

Still interesting, thanks for posting.

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Old 08-19-2019, 08:34 PM   #10
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I'm not sure what you mean by "copy location". If the other party knew generally where you were, you could do a screen shot of your map with the blue dot on it.
In Messages its easy to "Send my current location" - it's built right in. I use it on occasion to let people know where I am.

But you can also copy it out of the Compass app (which gives you a real time readout of Lat/Long) - press on the lat/long text and you get a copy command.

Find My Friends can also let people temporarily track you in real time.

Or do the screen shot if that's all you can think of.

No need to invent something completely new.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:37 PM   #11
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I just did some searching, and there are ways to text your GPS location, but all of them seemed far too many steps for what I'd want. I just want to tap an icon that says "append current GPS coordinates to this text". But all I found involves going to the maps app (through the texting app), and multiple steps, and then it sends an MMS (I read it would do it as SMS if you did not have a data connection.

Like so many things, seems this should be simpler. I know you can copy/past GPS into google maps, so it's easy on the receiving end.

-ERD50
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:41 PM   #12
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In Messages its easy to "Send my current location" - it's built right in. I use it on occasion to let people know where I am. ...

I cross posted - yes, but it seemed to take a number of steps. Useful if you want to choose a different location on the map, but why isn't there a one-touch "append my current GPS coordinates"? That's what I might want most of the time.

And in the Maps app, it was something about allowing someone to track you for a specific number of minutes. Fine, but I just want to send 2 numbers Lat & Long, and not copy/paste, not go through other steps.

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Old 08-19-2019, 10:51 PM   #13
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Various articles on this service (site and app). There are many places in the world that don't have "street addresses". We are just used to that in the USA. Three words is simple to share by comparison. What about a biking spot, or a location at a festival to meet up, or a trail head, or any other million places that don't have "street addresses".

The service was mentioned on the show Blind Spot last season. Not sure many realized what it was but it was used in the right context.

https://what3words.com/about-us/

Quote:
What is what3words?
what3words is a really simple way to talk about location.

We have assigned each 3m square in the world a unique 3 word address that will never change.

For example ///filled.count.soap marks the exact entrance to what3words’ London headquarters.

3 word addresses are easy to say and share, and are as accurate as GPS coordinates.

51.520847, -0.19552100 ←→ ///filled.count.soap

Our vision is to become a global standard for communicating location. People use what3words to find their tents at festivals, navigate to B&Bs, and to direct emergency services to the right place.


Our story
Chris Sheldrick used to work in the music industry, organising live events around the world. He quickly discovered that in the music world, people struggle with poor addressing every day. Getting lost trying to find events was pretty common.

He had some pretty bad days, like in Italy, when a driver unloaded all the equipment an hour north of Rome, instead of an hour south of Rome. And a slightly worse day, when a keyboard player called him and said, ‘Chris, don’t panic, but we may have just sound-checked at the wrong wedding’.

After experiencing several similarly frustrating situations, he realised that addressing around the world just wasn’t good enough. To get people and equipment to the right places – and on time – he tried sharing GPS coordinates instead. But asking people to meet at the likes of 40.7127753, -74.0059728 was just too unreliable. Entering 16 numbers into a device, or even sharing them over a phone call, can pretty easily go wrong.

After experiencing a few too many navigation nightmares, Chris sat with his mathematician school friend, Mohan Ganesalingam, to find a way to describe location that would be as precise as GPS coordinates, but more concise and easier for people to use. Before long, Mohan created the first 3 word address algorithm on the back of an envelope. Chris and Mohan then connected with Jack Waley-Cohen, also a school friend, with a background in translation – and what3words was born. It’s been five years since Chris, Mohan and Jack co-founded what3words. Today millions of people across the world are using 3 word addresses to find, share and describe places faster and more easily – from festival-goers and travellers to delivery drivers, event organisers and postal services.
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:17 AM   #14
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Do most of my woods/mountain biking around our local reservoirs where cell service available, so that's not an issue. I somehow killed my old model 2 apple watch and replaced it with a 4. Last week I had a somewhat jarring tumble and my watch asked something like..."It appears you've had a bad fall. Are you alright?" I was and had a good chuckle, not knowing it had this feature. I cancelled it out but assume if I went through the script it would have offered to call 911 or something. I know my model 2 surprised me when I was tiling and leaning on my hand, bending my wrist. It depressed the crown and next thing I knew the watch came alive with "911, what's your emergency?" I quickly apologized, having then learned of that feature!

Probably should learn a bit more about these features. Several years ago knocked myself out for about 5 minutes when biking, breaking a collarbone. Wonder what this watch would have done then. Panicked and called 911?
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:20 AM   #15
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I cross posted - yes, but it seemed to take a number of steps. Useful if you want to choose a different location on the map, but why isn't there a one-touch "append my current GPS coordinates"? That's what I might want most of the time.

And in the Maps app, it was something about allowing someone to track you for a specific number of minutes. Fine, but I just want to send 2 numbers Lat & Long, and not copy/paste, not go through other steps.

-ERD50
I expect it's simply a matter of what most people need. Many folks wouldn't know what to do with a lat/long coordinate. Many wouldn't even know what you are talking about.

Sending someone "My Location" in Messages is three taps away when you are in a conversation thread and shows them on a little map where you are. That seems way more useful to most people than sending "38.897957,-77.036560".

You could easily write an app that simple sends your current location to someone if you really want. If you look in the App Store there are many such apps (though they mostly do much more, so fail your simplicity test).
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:37 AM   #16
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Can someone give me a step by step instruction to show my location on a text message?

In setting I need to turn on show my location and pick from a list of which App I want that location to show up on. I understand that part but after making the setting how does it work and what do I need to do to show up when I send a text to someone?

My phone is an Apple 7.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:19 AM   #17
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Can someone give me a step by step instruction to show my location on a text message?
Look at

https://www.mactrast.com/2017/11/sen...-messages-app/

Although that's slightly out of date - rather than tapping on the (i) button, tap anywhere on the top of the screen (like on the name of person you are texting) that'll disclose a "info" icon - tap on that to bring up the screen that offers "Send My Current Location".
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:35 AM   #18
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Various articles on this service (site and app). There are many places in the world that don't have "street addresses". We are just used to that in the USA. Three words is simple to share by comparison. What about a biking spot, or a location at a festival to meet up, or a trail head, or any other million places that don't have "street addresses". ...
People 'get' the intended purpose (easy location sharing), we are just questioning the value of this particular approach, versus "the wheel" (GPS co-ordinates).

And it raises yellow flags for me when the justification include stretches in the comparison:

Quote:
But asking people to meet at the likes of 40.7127753, -74.0059728 was just too unreliable. Entering 16 numbers into a device, or even sharing them over a phone call, can pretty easily go wrong.
His example includes GPS co-ords of 7 digits past the decimal point. That gets you to:

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_degrees

7 decimal places
11.132 mm N/S or E/W at equator
10.247 mm E/W at 23N/S
_7.871 mm E/W at 45N/S
_4.3496 mm E/W at 67N/S


Which is far more accurate then their three words gets you, ~ 10 mm versus 3 meters, a factor of 300x! Bogus comparison. Why? If their system is so great, make a legitimate comparison. And with a simple function built into texting, 7 decimal points isn't even an issue.


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I expect it's simply a matter of what most people need. Many folks wouldn't know what to do with a lat/long coordinate. Many wouldn't even know what you are talking about.

Sending someone "My Location" in Messages is three taps away when you are in a conversation thread and shows them on a little map where you are. That seems way more useful to most people than sending "38.897957,-77.036560".

You could easily write an app that simple sends your current location to someone if you really want. If you look in the App Store there are many such apps (though they mostly do much more, so fail your simplicity test).
Right, but if this was built in the text apps, it would be recognized and a single tap would get you there. Something like "@GPS: [lat,long]" and the digits could even be compressed to hex or any other alpha-numeric to save a few bytes, humans would not really need to read it.

Simple and standard is what I'm looking for. No special app.

How does 911 handle this?

I'll also question just how easy it is to communicate three random words, and get someone to type those into an app with the correct spelling. "gripped deals profited" ? I may try this later, and I bet it takes some time for someone to get those three right, even though they say they picked words for clarity. Much of our ability to understand a word is based on context. Three random words have no context at all.

Maybe the app does spell checking based on its lists, that would help, but still?

-ERD50
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:58 AM   #19
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Requiring an app is a real problem. So I'm at my computer, someone needs to tell me their location - how does this work?

I saw no easy UI way to enter their three words. You could enter them into the sites URL, but that's pretty clumsy, and how many people would think to do that, they'd be looking for an entry box. Or am I missing that?

And this would be after you told the other party: " Go to what3words.com", "No that's "what" w-h-a-t, the number '3' then "words" w-o-r-d-s dot com", no spaces, no underscore.

Yeah, real easy!

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Old 08-20-2019, 08:23 AM   #20
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From a computer:

https://what3words.com/gripped.deals.profited


The fear movie lions one doesn't work... probably disabled due to being a very popular one (Stone's Richmond tap room, and the name of a popular beer).
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